Nigeria has declared a national disaster after severe flooding left about 100 people dead across 10 states, the country’s main relief agency said, yesterday.
Heavy seasonal rains have caused the Niger and Benue rivers to burst their banks, inundating communities, farms and trapping tens of thousands of people in their homes.
Speaking with newsmen, yesterday, the Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Maihaja, declared flooding a national disaster in four states including Kogi, Niger, Delta and Anambra, placing eight others on the watch list.
NEMA made the declaration last Monday, days after the President ordered the agency to declare the situation a national disaster.
Following the order, Maihaja had earlier inaugurated five Emergency Operation Centres (EOC) to facilitate prompt search and rescue operations as well as humanitarian support in the 12 states worst affected by flooding.
The Emergency Response Centres will be responsible for planning, organising, directing and supervising deployment of resources with the affected state governments and local authorities and communities.
The primary objective is to localise the responses and expedite intervention to save lives and facilitate quick recovery.
At the command centre in Abuja, the NEMA DG and other chief executives will be responsible for the formulation of policy and operational guidelines for the conduct of emergency operations in all the worst affected states.
The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) had earlier warned that the steady rise in water levels and weather forecast in the coming weeks have put Nigeria at risk of witnessing a recurrence of the catastrophic flooding similar to what it witnessed in 2012.
In 2012, catastrophic flooding had affected up to 30 states in the country and resulted in the deaths of over 300 people and displaced more than two million people, according to data from NEMA.
NIHSA, therefore, believes the country is at risk of a recurrence of the disaster if proper steps are not taken.
With the increase in rainfall and the daily rise in the water levels on both the rivers Niger and Benue, many states have fallen victim to the flooding which has killed many and rendered several others homeless.
In Kogi State, 10 local governments have been submerged by flood in the last 72 hours, according to the state governor, Yahaya Bello.
As a result, 33 camps have been created for the victims numbering about 4,000.
Also in Niger State, more than 100 communities have been submerged, Channels tv reports.
In Kano State, Government has confirmed the death of 31 people and destruction of more than 10,000 houses during the recent flood disaster in 15 Local Government Areas of the state.
Alhaji Ali Bashir, the Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (SERERA) disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Kano .
Bashir said that the cost of the disaster, which wreaked havoc on more than 10,000 houses in the affected areas, was estimated at over N5 billion.
“Thirty one people lost their lives and more than 10,000 houses that are estimated at over N5 billion were affected.
“Most of the affected houses were either totally or partially destroyed,” the Executive Secretary said.
He explained that no fewer than 35,000 farmers were also affected by the disaster in eight local government areas of the state.
In Edo State, at least 30,000 persons have been displaced by flood submerged 42 communities in Esan South East Local Government Area of Edo.
Newsmen report that over 8,000 houses and thousands of hectares of farmland were affected by the flood.
The communities that are mostly are on the bank of River Niger, and had their crops, such as rice, were washed away by the flood.
The council chairman, Mr Victor Emuankhagbon, while lamenting the loss, called for urgent assistance for the victims.
He said because of the enormous destruction occasioned by the flood, there was little or nothing the council could do.
While noting that no fewer than 30,000 persons were displaced by the flood, he said a temporary camp was set up to accommodate the displaced.
“It is huge natural disaster which mainly affected Ifeku Island and Illushi mainland.
The destruction is such that I cannot quantify the loss. “I am appealing to all relevant government agencies, as well as the state and Federal government, to come to the aid of the victims. “The disaster is mind boggling.
Homes are submerged, some destroyed, farmlands and crops washed away.
People don’t have homes to sleep in, no dry land to even cook their meals. “We are in the process of evacuating them to safer locations.
But the job is obviously beyond us; hence we are calling on both the state and federal governments to come to our aid without delay,” said Emuankhagbon.
The council boss listed some of the affected communities to include: Illushi Oji, Oji Ozigono, Oji Awenje, Ajobe, Ajabutu, Owoli, Iyegbi and Ukpodo.
Emuankhagbon noted that four wards out of the ten wards in the council, were affected by the disaster.
Also in Niger State, Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) yesterday disclosed that 160 communities had been submerged by flood in the state since the rains began in June.
Alhaji Ibrahim Inga, Director General, NSEMA, disclosed this when officials from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Kaduna Field Office, visited him to assess the extent of flooding in the state.
Inga said that the state government had approved release of N28 million to NSEMA to cater for displaced flood victims in Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps.
He said that the agency had established seven IDP camps for families and persons whose communities were submerged by the flood.
According to the director-general, the IDP camps are located at Zungeru Central Primary School, Maikakaki, Muye, Ceku, Ebbo, Gbaciku and Gungu.
“The flood situation confronting us in Niger is beyond the state’s capacity, even one year of the state’s budget cannot solve the problem, and children and women are the most vulnerable,’’ he said.
Inga said that the Nigerian Air Force, Nigeria Association of Medical Practitioners, Red Cross and the State Child Rights Agency were partnering the agency to give aid to victims, especially children and women.
Earlier, Mr Rabiu Musa, Communication Officer and Focal Person Emergency, UNICEF Kaduna Field Office, said that the team was on assessment of the flood situation in the state.
“Our visit to Niger is to assess the situation and report back on what we have seen for further decision and action,’’ Musa said.
In another development, All primary, post primary and tertiary schools in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra have been temporarily closed down in reaction to the flood disaster in the area.
The council Chairman, Mr Arinze Awogu disclosed this while inaugurating the distribution of relief materials at the council headquarters, Atani yesterday.
Awogu said the closure of the schools was in line with the directive of Gov. Willie Obiano who said schools in the affected areas should close down to avert loss of life.
“We are in an emergency situation and for us, safety of life is paramount, people will not have need for education when they are dead.
The council boss said Ogbaru had taken delivery of buckets, mattresses, mats, mosquito nets and blankets from the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) but noted that it was still a far cry from what was required.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari said on Monday he had approved the release of three billion naira ($8.3 million, 7.1 million euros) to buy medical and relief materials.
Flooding along the rivers is a frequent occurrence during the annual rains, which fall from May to September.
FG Alerts On Massive Flooding In Rivers, FCT, Others
The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), an agency of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, has predicted more devastating floods from the end of August to early October in some states of the federation, including Rivers and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Already, the agency said in line with its earlier predictions, Lagos, Nasarawa, Anambra, Abia, Kwara, Kaduna, Rivers, Enugu, Borno and Ondo states had witnessed severe flooding as a result of heavy local rainfalls compounded by poor drainage system.
The Director-General of the agency, Engr. Nze Clement Onyeaso, in an interaction with some journalists in Abuja, yesterday, said all areas earlier identified as flood prone this year as well as those along the Rivers Niger and Benue might likely begin to experience more devastating flooding from the end of August.
“Nigeria is located within the River Niger Basin which is occupied by nine countries namely Benin, Burkina- Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d’Ivore, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Nigeria. Nigeria is located at the lowest position of the Basin and this means that once the upper catchment of the Basin gets flooded, Nigeria should be prepared to experience flooding. The period of flooding in these upstream countries is August and September of every year,’’ he said.
The DG said his agency was monitoring the development as we approach these critical months, adding that it will also continue to monitor Cameroonian authorities with regards to flood scenarios in the upper catchment of the sub-basin.
Nze warned Lagosians against the practice of dredging and sound filling the Atlantic Ocean, to build what they usually call model cities like those in Lekki and Banana Island, saying such may, in the future, pose serious threats.
As part of the preparation for the expected floods, the DG called on Nigerians, especially the state governments to be fully prepared by ensuring cleaning of blocked drainage system and canals remove refuse, weeds, water hyacinths and floats on water channels.
The agency had earlier predicted that 121 LGAs in 27 states and FCT might experience severe flooding this year.
Rivers Police Confirm Killing Of Disbanded OSPAC Leader In EMOLGA
The Rivers State Police Command has confirmed the killing of one Alex Uwazuruike Isaac, the leader of disbanded OSPAC in Umudioga community in Emohua local Government Area of the state, last Tuesday.
The spokesperson of Rivers State Police Command, SP Nnamdi Omoni, who confirmed this in a telephone interview with The Tide, said the dismembered body of the victim has also been recovered and deposited in the mortuary for preservation.
The police spokesperson further stated that the police has restored normalcy in the community while the Commissioner of Police, Eboka Friday, has ordered for full investigation into the incident.
It would be recalled that gunmen suspected to be cultists, last Tuesday, invaded Umudioga community, and killed Alex Uwazuruike Isaac, who was said to be the leader of the disbanded OSPAC, a local vigilante group in the area.
A native of the community, who pleaded anonymity for fear of the unknown, disclosed that the gunmen, who were armed with sophisticated assault rifles, stormed the community in the afternoon and went for their target.
The source further revealed that the gunmen shot Isaac dead before beheading and dismembering his body, and later paraded the head of their victim in the community while urging natives not to panic as they came for the deceased and not for the community.
The Tide gathered that some other members of the disbanded OSPAC have already fled the community as a result of the killing of their former leader and fear of being attacked by the cultists who are hunting members of the defunct OSPAC in the area.
It was learnt that many suspected cultists were arrested and killed in the community while others fled during the reign of the deceased OSPAC commander in the community in 2019.
The Tide further learnt that the killing comes barely three weeks after the Chairman of Emohua Local Government Council, Dr Chidi Lloyd pronounced the dissolution of all vigilante groups in the LGA, and asked communities that make up the council area to submit five names of natives who would be screened and admitted into a new security outfit to be established and funded by the council in no distant time.
By: Akujobi Amadi
JAMB Fixes Mop-Up UTME For 18,000 Candidates, Aug 6
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has rescheduled examination for more than 18,000 candidates who experienced biometric verification challenges and those who genuinely missed the just-concluded Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) as a result of a clash with this year’s National Business and Technical Examinations Board examination.
The mop-up UTME is scheduled for Friday, August 6, 2021, in some selected locations across the country.
JAMB Spokesperson, Fabian Benjamin, made this known in a statement, yesterday, titled, ‘Mop-Up UTME Holds Friday, 6th August, 2021…JAMB’.
The statement read, “Following detailed investigation and careful analysis of the highly-successful 2021 UTME, and with due consultation (resulting in gracious concession) with the National Examination Council (NECO) concerning the timetable of the council’s on-going SSCE, JAMB has scheduled a Mop-up UTME for Friday, August 6, 2021, in some selected locations across the nation.
“About 18,000 candidates slated for the examination are being notified through both text messages on their designated phone numbers and their JAMB profiles. In addition, the candidate can check using their registration number on http://www.jamb.gov.ng/2021mopup.
“For the avoidance of doubt, no candidate whose result has been duly released will be rescheduled for another examination.
“The rescheduled candidates are in the following categories:
“Candidates who could not be initially scheduled for examination owing to their inability to timely procure and supply their mandatory NINs or profile codes until after the close of the registration exercise and, therefore, had to purchase Bank Drafts (as against the usual vending of PINs) after the scheduled period for the examination and were later registered.
“Few candidates who encountered peculiar biometric verification problem, or who failed biometric verification on the examination date (and were recaptured) but were not allowed to partake in the examination. (Adequate screening arrangements have been made to re-verify such claims and any candidate found to be involved in any form of impersonation will be identified for prosecution).
“Candidates who were unable to sit for the UTME owing to the clash of timetables of the UTME and the then on-going NABTEB examinations and whose particulars have been verified and supplied directly to JAMB by NABTEB.
“Candidates who have been ascertained by JAMB to have experienced genuine rescheduling/technical problems as was the case in 30 of the 760 centres used for the examination.
“The rescheduled candidates are to print fresh examination notification slips containing the venue and time of the examination. The slips are to be printed from the JAMB website https://www.jamb.gov.ng using the candidates’ registration number from Sunday, August 1, 2021.
“The board strongly advises candidates to avoid supplying their vital information, including registration number to fraudsters who abound especially in cybercafe(s), tutorial centres springing up almost everywhere in the nation as a result of the illicit activities of examination syndicates. CBT centres approved by JAMB which are consistently monitored are relatively more secured for printing examination notification slips by candidates who cannot print such on their own.”
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